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2017~ Health Insurance Rate Hikes Subject to Public Hearing

2017-06-08 06:50 [INSURANCE] Source:Netword
Guide:The Connecticut Department of Insurance announced it received 14 requests, including ones from ConnectiCare and Anthem, requesting higher rates for 201

The Connecticut Department of Insurance announced it received 14 requests, including ones from ConnectiCare and Anthem, requesting higher rates for 2018 and officials want to hear how those changes would affect consumers.

The public hearing will vegin at 9 a.m. on June 14 at 153 Market Street in Hartford. Everyone attending will receive validated parking.

According to the CID, Anthem requested, on average, a 33.8 percent increase to policies sold both on and off the state’s exchange, Access Health.

ConnectiCare requested an average increase of 17.5 percent. That only applies to policies on the exchange.

Before the rates take effect, they’ll need approval from Commissioner Katharine Wade. She hopes the public hearing will help her make that decision.

“Anyone from the public can come in and express their views on the proposed rate increases,” said Wade. “We want to know how people feel about what’s going on in the marketplace and understand the impact on consumers.”

Anyone who cannot make it to the June 14 event but wants their voice heard can submit comments through the CID. That portal will remain open until July 1.

NBC Connecticut reached out to Anthem and ConnectiCare for a comment. Anthem’s spokesperson sent a statement saying:

“For eight decades Anthem has served consumers in the individual market and today Anthem is pleased to provide access to care for more than 55,000 Individual members on and off the exchanges.

Recognizing the dynamics and volatility in the Individual ACA-compliant product offerings, our most recent rate filings reflect increases in the cost of delivering medical services coupled with pharmacy expenses and overall increased use of health care services by members in ACA-compliant plans.

The rates we have filed assume Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) subsidies will be funded. However, the future funding of CSRs remains uncertain. Without CSR funding we will need to evaluate appropriate adjustments to our filings such as requesting additional rate increases, eliminating certain product offerings or exiting certain Individual ACA compliant markets altogether.

While we are pleased that some steps have been taken to address the sustainability of the marketplace, the individual market remains volatile with significant uncertainty. Anthem remains committed to working to find solutions so that it can continue to participate in the Individual market.”

ConnectiCare responded with a statement as well:

“ConnectiCare has requested a rate increase for our individual and small group plans for 2018. We are extremely mindful of the impact that rate increases have on our members, and have taken every possible step to keep our plans as fairly priced as possible within the reality of today’s health care environment. Our proposed rates are based on several factors including medical and pharmacy cost trends and expected utilization of services by our members. In addition, the current legislative and regulatory environments present market uncertainties that are outside of the company’s control including the primary risks of a weakening of the individual mandate, uncertainty of funding for cost share reductions and our position in the competitive landscape. We are committed to providing Connecticut residents with high quality health plans, as we have been for more than 35 years.”

Published at 11:03 PM EDT on May 30, 2017 | Updated at 10:39 AM EDT on May 31, 2017

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